Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Seventh Year

For Theo on this Seventh Year~

Every year I am faced with a blank page. Every year I sit and I try to figure out:

What can I say this year? What more can I say that I have not already said?

What is there to say that can possibly express the reality, the depth, the completeness of being saturated daily in this grief?

What can I say to honor your precious little life, present on this earth for 270 days?

8 months, 20 days.

39 weeks.

You lived a lifetime in those weeks. We all did.

You were born a week before you were due, at 39 weeks, and you lived for 39 weeks.

Something in me wants to fold up into itself. A part of me wants to close my eyes and have none of this. To crawl into a deep cave and stay. To sink deep into the dark earth. But I know that I will not do that. I don’t even think I’m capable of it. It’s not in me. Sometimes I wish it were.

I get tired of this grief. So tired of the pain. It comes, and every time it does, I am surprised by it's intensity and it makes me tired. But really, it's always here. Who knows this about me? So often, only me it seems. But I cannot, would not, give it up. The grief is entwined with the love. There are the same, woven together and mirroring each other. Like the ocean to the sky.
One is not without the other.

But it does get heavy some days.
Days like this.
And some days that are nothing like this.

How impossible to explain to those who don’t know, what it’s like to carry this. And why I feel the need to continue to try and try and try. Again and again and again. And yet again.

I have worked to create this sacred space for you inside my heart that has your name engraved on it, tattooed upon it. The heart that grew anew and belonged only to you when you came into this world. The heart that broke, split, and tore into ragged shreds when you left it. That heart remains broken, pieces sewn, patched, smoothed back, but forever rent.

Also forever open. I remain open to ensure your space, the openness where I hold you. Where you continue on, and where you remain a part of my life daily, a part of our family, irreplaceable.

My heart that holds every single memory, every caress, every inhalation of your sweet skin, every moment our eyes held each other’s gaze –deep, deeper than any ocean.

Every painful crack in the walls of that heart, created bit by bit, as I watched your little body ravaged by surgeries and staples and tubes and poisons and ultimately by the tumor that completely crowded out your beautiful little brain and took your life away.

But even in that, I know, I know you were there, your sweet spirit was always there. You are a force. Stronger than I could ever imagine or that I could ever be. You were then, you are now.

Your immensity when I think on it, humbles me. It gives me cause to wonder and be in awe of the fact that


Your spirit is that of a bodhisattva. An enlightened spiritual teacher, a wisdom-being, a love-being. And you are my son. I saw you shine, with my own eyes.

I saw you shine.

If I know nothing else, I know that.

And I know that you go on.
And because you do, I do.

Thelonius Luther Helbert Fueglein 05/26/2005~02/20/2006


Sarah Bain said...

Thank you for writing this, for sharing your spirit, for sharing Theo with us.

Sarah Bain said...

Love this sweet friend and love the spirit of Theo. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Amy said...

So loved. So missed. Even after 7 years. I still think of your boy Theo when I see dragonflies in the summer. He shines so bright. I Love you words.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

He is in many hearts today, everyday, eternally. A KP card in hand today with Theo's name. <3

whatsyourgrief said...

I was just saying today no matter how much 'healing' we do, we can never be completely whole again after a loss. I'm sorry for your pain today and every other day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing this. You have put into words exactly how I feel, so eloquently, so beautifully, as I can only hope to do. Though it was my daughter who died, at age 22 last September, the rest is the same, and I am so grateful to know that I am not alone in this, grateful for having had the gift of being Elizabeth's mother, and especially the gift of being with her the last few months of her life, as I saw her transform into pure love, pure grace, and beauty...

Karla said...

Thank you so much, all of you for reading, for sharing, for holding space in your own hearts. For all of our children.
So much love. xoxo

Hallie Schumaker said...

Dear Karla:

Oh your story touched my heart and I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful Theo. I have close friends that lost a baby at 18 months old this past May and I have seen the devastation and grief. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I work for Jewelry Keepsakes, an online retailer that specializes in memorial jewelry.  I was wondering if you would have any interest in doing a product review.  We have so many great products that I honestly feel can help parents that have experienced loss.  Getting an honest review not only helps us maintain the integrity of our products and shows us what is working and what we need to improve on but also lets us provide the best products we can to those that are grieving - and that matters most of all.  I have a particular fondness for our photo engraved keepsakes as they honor those that are living as well as those that have passed (I have three of each of my children).  I would be happy to send at no charge any keepsake of your choice. We also have a beautiful selection of dragonfly keepsakes that might spark your interest as well.

The links to our site and to our photo engraved pendants are:

I am happy to answer any questions you might have and the best way to reach me is via reply to my email.  I also have a company email where you can contact me and that is hallie@jewelrykeepsakes.com.

Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Best Regards,
Hallie Schumaker
Jewelry Keepsakes


Hallie Schumaker said...

Dear Karla,

I hope you are somewhere warmer than the Northeast - this cold is brutal!

I wanted to touch base and see if you had given any thought to choosing a keepsake in memory of Theo. I would love to help give you a way to honor him.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer!


Hallie Schumaker said...

Dear Karla,

Just checking in. :) Would still love to send you that keepsake in memory of Theo! Let me know if you have any questions!